PRAYERS FOR THE MOR I G A D EVE I G By THOMAS SCOTT
A Morning Prayer for a Family. MOST glorious and gracious God, whose kind providence has protected us through the night, and brought us in peace to meet together this morning; assist us, we earnestly beseech thee, to present our unfeigned praises and thanksgivings, and to unite in fervent prayer and supplication before thy mercy-seat. But, who are we, O thou high and lofty One, who inhabitest eternity, whose name is Holy, that we should venture into thy awful presence? Even the Seraphim veil their faces in deep humility, when they present their adorations before thy throne And we are not only immensely beneath them in our nature ; but alas, we have been guilty of base ingratitude for thy bounties, and of multiplied acts of rebellion against thee, our Creator and Sovereign " We have forsaken thee, the Fountain of QQ3
586 A MOR I G PRAYER. " living waters," to seek happiness from the broken cisterns of earthly enjoyments and possessions ! We have proudly rejected thy easy yoke, and become slaves to divers lusts and pleasures! We have refused thee that reasonable tribute of worship and love, which it would have been our privilege to render! We have broken thy command-
ments in thought, word, and deed, and have abused thy gifts to the dishonour of thy name. Thus we would with shame confess, we are fallen under condemnation and into bondage, from which we cannot deliver our own souls: and we may well be confounded, when we would lift up our hearts unto thee. "Ifthou, LORD, shouldest "mark iniquity, O LORD, who can stand? But " there is forgiveness with thee," and plenteous redemption in thy beloved Son. Through his atoning sacrifice, and prevailing intercession, we would approach thy throne of grace ; and while we smite on our breasts, and say, " God be " merciful to us, vile sinners!" we would unite our penitent confessions with lively faith and hope, and bless thee for these unspeakable benefits. Oh give us true repentance and living faith; convince us more deeply of our sinfulness; and discover to us every thing in our hearts and lives, which displeases thee: that we may approach thee in genuine poverty of spirit, and with sincere and fervent longings after those blessings which we ask with our lips. Enlighten our understandings,
A MOR I G PRAYER 58? that we may more clearly perceive the nature and glory of thy gospel; and more fully " know thee, " the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou " hast sent." Teach us to count all things but loss, that we may win Christ, and partake of his salvation. May thy holy word, which we daily study, be treasured up in our memories, written in our hearts, and made legible in our tempers and conduct. Oh, do thou rectify our mistakes, deliver us from prejudices, " make us to be of " good understanding in the way of godliness,"
and " uphold our goings in thy ways, that our "footsteps slip not." We beseech thee, O thou God of peace, that by faith in the blood of thy beloved Son, we may enjoy the comfort of thy reconciling grace, and sweet tranquillity in our hearts and consciences; and may our hope of forgiveness from thee render us ready to forgive others, and form our dispositions to gentleness and love. Glorying in the cross of Christ, may we be crucified to the world, and the world to us. May we be clothed with humility, walk before thee with vigilance and circumspection, and serve thee in the spirit of adoption. Enable us, we beseech thee, for thy sake, to " do unto all men, as we " would they should do unto us," to live in peace one with another, and " while we have time, to do " good unto all men, but especially to them that " are of the household of faith." May thy saving grace " teach us to deny ungodliness and worldly
58S A MOR I G PRAYER. " lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godlj " in this present world :" may we be content with such things as we have; accommodate ourselves to the station allotted us; conscientiously attend to our proper duties; and watch against covetousness, anger, envy, and all other sinful passions. Oh, may we be indeed the followers of the lowly Jesus : may we walk as he walked ; act in wisdom towards all around us; and improve 'our several talents to the glory of thy great name : and thus may we " wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus " Christ unto eternal life." We most humbly beseech thee, O Father of mercies, that thou wouldst graciously look upon our beloved friends and relatives. Bring home to thy
fold such as still wander in the ways of sin and folly; and communicate all seasonable help and comfort to those, who know thy name, and love thy salvation. Recompense with thy choicest blessings all them, whose hearts thou hast disposed to be kind to us ; may they and their dear children and relatives be made partakers of thy saving grace; may their souls be as a watered garden; may their temporal comforts be increased, their trials sanctified, and all their endeavours to do good be crowned with abundant success. We would also, most gracious Lord, pray thee to bless all the ministers of thy gospel; to send forth labourers into thy harvest; to prosper every method of sending thy saving truth to those who sit in
A MOR I G PRAYER. 589 darkness and the shadow of death; to lift up a standard against the prevailing infidelity and impiety of the age; to stem the torrent of licentiousness; and in all respects to purify, bless, and enlarge thy church, and to fill the earth with the glory of thy name. Regard with thy special mercy our favoured, but ungrateful land : though our iniquities testify against us; yet for thy own name's sake, and the honour of thy gospel, continue to us the blessed light of thy truth, and the means of grace that we enjoy. Preserve us from publick calamities, and put an end to those enormities, which call for thy vengeance upon us. Bless our king and all the royal family with thy choicest mercies; and direct all employed in publick affairs to those measures, which may most promote our best interests and thy glory. Oh, incline and teach all orders and ranks of men amongst us, to fill up their several
stations in a suitable manner, and to serve their generation according to thy will Send peace in our time we beseech thee, O Lord : [Say to the destroying sword, it is enough, return into the scabbard.] Over-rule all changes in kingdoms and nations, to the furtherance of thy gospel, and the establishment of thy kingdom all over the earth. Compassionate, O merciful Lord, all who are afflicted, indigent, oppressed, enslaved : send them effectual deliverance, and give special consolations to thy tempted and persecuted children.
590 A MOR I G PRAYZfl. Hear, we beseech thee, these our prayers and supplications : be with us in all the employments and companies in which we may this clay be engaged: may we act in them, as under thine eye, and as it becomes thy redeemed people : and may we be habitually prepared for death and judgment These and all mercies we, unworthy sinners, humbly implore, for the sake, and through the merits and mediation of thy Son Jesus Christ ; to whom, with thee, O Father and the Holy Spirit, we would ascribe co-equal and eternal praise and adoration. Amen.
An Evening Prayer for a Family. THOU Giver of every good gift, thou Father of mercies, and God of all consolation ; we desire to close this day with thy solemn worship. Accept, we beseech thee, our unfeigned thanksgivings, for the continuance of our lives, our health, our senses, our limbs, and our rational powers ; for the protection and provision thou hast hitherto afforded us;
and for all the general and special benefits we enjoy. We would consider them as coming from thy hand, and as the fruits of thy unmerited kindness to us thy sinful creatures. But above all, we are
A EVE I G PRAYER. bound to thank and bless thee, for the redemption of the world by thy beloved Son ; and for all the blessings of that new covenant, which he purchased by his death, and is exalted at thy right hand to bestow on all that believe. We thank thee for thy written word and thy preached gospel ; and for all the abundant spiritual advantages, with which we are favoured. We praise thee for thy long-suffering towards us, when we disregarded the message of reconciliation, and continued in disobedience; for delivering us in dangers, and recovering us from sickness, when we were wholly unprepared for death; and even when we used our lives and health, in sinning still more against thee ! " It is of thy mercies only that we are not con" sumed, because thy compassions fail not." And if at length we have been renewed to repentance, and enabled to believe thy gospel, and love thy holy ways; to thee, O Lord, we would ascribe all the glory of this blessed change. u What shall " we then render to the Lord for all his benefits?" Help us, we humbly pray thee, not only to offer at thy mercy-seat our feeble sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving; but to present ourselves also as living sacrifices devoted to thy glory; and to bless thee with the more decided language of unreserved obedience. And while we rejoice in our privileges and mercies; help us, O Lord, to remember the inexpressible sufferings of the divine Saviour, when " he
592 A EVE I G PRAYER. " bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that " we being dead unto sin, should live unto righ" teousness." Oh! grant that, looking to him whom we have pierced, we may mourn for our crimes with unfeigned sorrow ; may become more deeply penitent, and be more determined in crucifying the flesh with all its affections and lusts: and may the love of Christ constrain us henceforth to live more entirely to his glory. Here, at Emmanuel's cross may we daily learn self-denial, deadness to the world, patience, meekness, forgiveness, humility; and thus find our hearts prepared to renounce our own ease and interest, in order to honour our Redeemer, and subserve the comfort of those whom he condescends to call his brethren. May ve learn " to keep the unity of the spirit in the " bond of peace;" and, looking to him who en cross, and despised the shame, never be weary and faint under any trials or discouragements. Help us, O gracious God, this evening so to examine our ways, and renew our repentance; that we may have peace with thee and our consciences, through the atoning blood, before we close our eyes in sleep: and do thou extinguish every emotion of resentment or corrupt affection, which the events of the day may have excited; that we may go to rest in sweet charity with all mankind. Prosper, O Lord, all our undertakings, as far as is good for us; and especially all our endeavours to acquire, or to communicate, the knowledge of thy
A EVE I G PRAYER. 59$ truth and will. Bless thy holy word, which any of thy servants may have spoken in publick or private; crown all their labours with success, and fill their souls with joy and consolation. Enlarge and purify thy church, and let thy grace and peace be multiplied to all who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. Remember with thy choicest mercies all that pray for us, or desire a place in our supplications; and whenever we meet with dear absent friends, may we see new cause, and feel renewed dispositions for thankfulness. And now, O gracious Father, while we commend ourselves and each other to thy special protection this night ; " teach us so to number our days that "we may apply our hearts unto wisdom:" and grant, that whether we live or die, we may be thine for ever. Hear us, we humbly intreat thee, and exceed all we ask, or can conceive, according to the riches of thy mercy in Christ Jesus: for whom we bless thy name, and to whom with thyself, and the eternal Spirit, we would ascribe all glory, praise, adoration, and thanksgiving, now and for evermore. Amen.
Another Morning Prayer for a Family,
and everlasting God, we, thy unworthy creatures, desire to bless and thank thee, for thy gracious protection, and the refreshment of sleep during the past night; and the renewed gift of life and a measure of health this morning. We would gratefully acknowledge likewise the conveniences of our dwelling and temporal pro-
vision ; the comfort of kind friends and domestick peace, and all the security and tranquillity which we enjoy in this favoured country. We confess, O Lord, that we are unworthy of the least of these thy mercies: and we beseech thee, enable us to shew our unfeigned gratitude, by alacrity in every part of thy service, and a proper use of all thy benefits. But we are bound especially to bless and praise thy holy name, O most gracious Father, for the salvation provided for us in thy son Jesus Christ our Lord. Without this inestimable benefit, no temporal peace or prosperity could have eventually profited us. By thy righteous sentence we are doomed to die. Our present joys and sorrows, cares and pursuits, must soon vanish like the dreams of the past night; we shall shortly open our eyes amidst the important realities of the eter-
A MOR I G PRAYER. 595 nal world. And, Oh ! if thou shouldest, in that unchanging state, deal with us in strict justice according to our deserts ; we could no more avoid final condemnation, than we can escape the stroke of death. But, blessed be thy name, O Lord, our reprieves from the grave may now be improved as opportunities of seeking deliverance from the wrath to come, and of securing an incorruptible and eternal inheritance. Enable us therefore, we humbly pray thee, to regard with solemn attention thy message of reconciliation, through the mediation of Christ, and by faith in his atoning blood. Enlighten our minds to a clear perception of the nature, glory, and inestimable value of thy great salvation ; and
fill us with an admiring sense of thy condescending and compassionate love to lost sinners, in this stupendous method of shewing them mercy, and giving them eternal felicity. Here may we see the harmonious display of thy justice and grace, thy holy abhorrence of iniquity, and thy tender love to condemned transgressors. Help us, we humbly beseech thee, to discover, in some measure, that manifold wisdom, and all those glories, which fill the angelick hosts with admiring love, that we may learn on earth the worship of heaven, and there lisp our feeble praises " to him who loved " us, and washed us from our sinp in his own " blood. " Oh, enable us to give such diligence in making our calling and election sure, that we may
596 A EVE I G TRAYER. always be confident; knowing that when we shall be absent from the body, we shall be present with thee in glory. And if any of us have hitherto neglected the one thing needful, resting in a form of godliness, or in any way deceiving ourselves; may we be stirred up without delay to seek first thy kingdom and thy righteousness, and to subordinate all other pursuits to this grand concern. Teach every one of us, O merciful God, to serve thee in our different employments ; doing all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and using our possessions, or improving our talents, as those who duly consider how soon it may be said, " Give an " account of thy stewardship, for thou mayest no " longer be steward." Enable us, we entreat thee, so to act at all times and in all things, that we may joyfully anticipate the summons, and humbly hope to be received by the Saviour with that welcome, " Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou
" into the joy of thy Lord." Grant us, O thou Fountain of life, such consolations in communion with thee ; as may render us superior to the frowns and smiles of the world, and fix our affections on things above. Teach us also to profit by .all thy rebukes and chastisements: that every painful feeling may serve to humble us, to wean us from earthly things, to embitter sin, to endear the love of our suffering Redeemer, to soften- our hearts into compassion towards the afflicted, and to bow our wills
A MOR I G PRAYER. into submission to thine appointments. And as thou, O glorious Lord of all, art pleased to permit us to call thee our heavenly Father; .grant, we in treat thee, that the lively exercise of all filial affections, by the sacred influences of the Spirit of adoption, may fully testify that we are indeed the children and heirs of God. Oh, let it be the ardent desire of our inmost souls, that thy. name should be hallowed, thy kingdom established, and thy will done on earth, as it is by all the inhabitants of heaven. We pray that thy blessed gospel may be effectually preached to all the numerous and populous nations, which now sit in pagan darkness, or under Mahometan delusion. May plans be formed in wisdom, and executed with zeal, for the ao complishment of this great design. O raise up, qualify, and send forth under thy special protection, proper instruments for this arduous, but honourable, service. Pour out thy Spirit from on high upon the nations, that mountains may flow clown at thy presence ; and that difficulties, now
deemed insuperable^ may be effectually removed. Oh, prepare the way for such extensive displays of thy glorious grace, by purifying the whole visible church, from all superstition, false doctrine, and unchristian practice; by uniting believers in h r i love and harmony; and by rendering all the pastors of thy flock, wise, disinterested,- humble, faithful, zealous, and laborious. Stop the fatal
A MO U 1 1ST G PRAYER. progress of infidelity and apostacy from Christ, which mark this degenerate age and nation: and raise up able champions for thy truth, who may contend earnestly and effectually for the faith once delivered to the saints. Bless the places of publick education; and grant that men may continually be sent forth from them, qualified for these and other important services. Endue with wisdom, animate with zeal, and arm with patience, such persons as, amidst difficulties and disappointments, are endeavouring to promote the welfare of mankind, and to open the way to the spread of thy gospel : raise them up many helpers, and at length crown their efforts with complete success. Teach, O Lord, all true Christians, to act consistently in their various circumstances and trials; and enable them to adorn thy gospel and rejoice in thy salvation : and bless their children also, that they may serve thee in their days, and transmit thy truth to future generations. . Oh, vouchsafe thy special grace to all our dear relatives and friends, whatever else thou mayest sec good to withhold from them. Bestow thy blessing on all those whom thou hast placed in autho-
rity over us; and honour them as thy instruments, in promoting the best interests of these nations. O thou God of peace, be pleased to terminate the ravages of war, and extend thy compassionate regard to all, who in this or any other way, ar
A EVE I G PRAYER. 599 exposed to those complicated miseries, from which we are mercifully exempted. Enable us now, we beseech thee, to enter on our several employments, in submission and obedience to thy will, and dependence on thy grace. ' May we be preserved from the snares of the world, and defended against the assaults of Satan : may we watch over our hearts, govern our passions, and bridle our tongues, as under the inspection of thine all-seeing eye ; and be helped in all things to glorify thy name, through Jesus Christ, thy beloved Son, and our Mediator and Redeemer. * Amen.
Another Evening Prayer for a Family.
THOU most glorious God, with whom a thousand years are as one day, and who dwellest in light inaccessible to mortal men : the return of night reminds us how-short our time is; and how soon we must finally close our eyes on all things here below, to open them in the eternal world. Our days glide away almost unperceived : Oh leave us not to neglect the important work of life, through attention to the trifles with which we are
surrounded ! We feel all things here on earth to Ru 2
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be vanity and vexation : our pains are many and increasing; our pleasures few and wasting. "Sure" ly man walketh in a vain shew ! he disquieteth :c himself in vain ! He heapeth up riches, and can11 not tell who shall gather them!" " For we are " consumecFrfy thine anger, and by thy wrath we " are troubled: thou hast set our iniquities before " thee, and our secret sins in the light of thy " Countenance." Teach us therefore, O merciful God > so to meditate on the shortness, uncertainty, and vanity of things temporal: and on the reality, nearness, and importance of things eternal ; that we may indeed be strangers and pilgrims on earth, and rn^y seek a heavenly inheritance, with our warmest affections and most persevering diligence. Do thou make the thoughts of death and judgment so familiar to us, and so impressive on our hearts; that they may put vigour into our prayers; may excite us to earnestness in all the means of grace; may make us decided in renouncing every idol and iniquity; and may influence us so to act in all things, as may afford us comfort upon the bed of death. Enable us, O Lord, to mark thy hand, and to submit to thy righteousness, in all the troubles of life, and in all the painful consequences of our sins. Give us such a knowledge of thy hoty law, and of its spiritual and reasonable demands; that we may become fully sensible of our exceeding sinfulness, and be deeply humbled before thee in
A EVE I G PRAYER. 601 unfeigned repentance. May we never attempt to cover our transgressions, or to justify our conduct in thy sight; but may we so judge ourselves, that we may not be condemned at thy awful tribunal. Help us, O gracious Lord, to believe thy gospel with living faith; and continually to come unto thee, as the Fountain of life and felicity, through the righteousness and redemption of our great High Priest, who ever liveth to make intercession for us. And give us, we intreat thee, that confidence in thy pardoning mercy, and that love, gratitude, and zeal, which may prompt us to unreserved obedience, and make us stedfast, unrnoveable, and always abounding in thy work. But, O thou heart-searching God, the imperfections and defilements of our best days and services are all open to thy view ! Were the rest of past lives buried in eternal oblivion, and an account of this one day required from us : 6ur vain thoughts, idle words, and wrong tempers; our selfish desires and motives, and manifold omissions of duty, would leave us speechless and selfcondemned before thee. Help us then, we earnestly intreat thee, to apply to our consciences that atoning blood, which cleanseth from all sin ; and neither leave us to discouragement through unbelief, nor suffer us to abuse thy grace by any allowed disobedience. Whatever we have this day attempted, which had a beneficial tendency, do thou, O merciful RR 3
602 A EVE I G PRAYER. Father, be pleased to prosper by thy blessing; and prevent the ill consequences of our errors and offences. Sanctify to us thy dispensations, and our own experience: and help us to thank thee with unfeigned hearts, for the unmerited mercies and comforts, with which we have been favoured. Bless, O Lord, all endeavours to spread thy gospel, and to promote the peace and happiness of mankind: and remember with peculiar regard, such as are labouring in remote inhospitable regions, to make known thy salvation among poor benighted Pagans. .We commend ourselves and all belonging to us, unto thy gracious protection. Thou art ever present, and knowest all things ; thy majesty and condescension, thy justice and compassion, are alike infinite and adorable. " Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as Head over all." But we are exposed to countless dangers, and are wholly unable to defend ourselves. Be thou our strong Tower, and help us to take refuge under the shadow of thy wings. Preserve us from outward calamities, and from the assaults of our spiritual enemies. Help us seriously to enquire, whether we are indeed prepared to meet our God, should we be called hence this night? That we may be enabled to close our eyes, in well-grounded assurance, that death is our's ; because we are Christ's, and possess the meetness for the incorruptible inheritance. Should we be spared, to
A MOR I G PRAYER. 603 awaken in peace, and arise in health with the re-
turning day : enable us, we beseech thee, to attend on thy worship and service with alacrity and gratitude. And thus may we " wait all the days of our appointed time, till our change come," with calm submission, vigilant circumspection, and patient continuance in well doing. Vouchsafe us, O gracious Father, these and all other mercies, for the sake of thy beloved Son Jesus Christ; whom, with thee and the eternal Spirit, we would adore as the God of our salvation, both now and for evermore.
Another Morning Prayer for a Family. \J ALMIGHTY and eternal God, we would humbly attempt to begin this day with worshipping thy great and glorious name. Thou art worthy of universal and everlasting adoration and thankful praise. Thy nature is incomprehensible, thy perfections infinite, thy goodness inexhaustible. Thou hast created all things; thou upholdest them by the word of thy power; and every one of thy works proclaims thy glory. Thou openest thy hand, and fillest all things living with plenteous^ ness: and so abundant is thy goodness, that even RR4
A MOR I G PRAYER.
the sinful children of men are invited to take refuge under the covert of thy wings! Thou art "in Christ reconciling the world unto thyself:" upon thy mercy-seat thou waitest to be gracious; and thy glorious wisdom, holiness, justice, and truth, are adored by the hosts of heaven, whilst thou dispensest pardons and showerest down blessings, on poor sinners who call upon thee. " Thou art exalted above all blessing and praise." How then shall we, poor sinful worms, offer any acceptable tribute to thy name? Thou mightest justly reject both us and our worship, as below thy notice, or deserving thine abhorrence: yet thou condescendest to say even of us, mean and guilty as we are, f* Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me !" Yea, " thou inhabitest the praises of Israel!" Enable us, therefore, we humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, as a holy priesthood, to offer continually such spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, as are acceptable to thee through Jesus Christ ; and do thou graciously accept our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through the mediation of thy well beloved Son. But the more we meditate on thy glories and on our obligations, the viler we appear in our own eyes ; remembering our manifold rebellions and base ingratitude. Our sins are indeed innumerable and inexcusable; and we would abhor ourselves, on account of them, repenting in dust and ashes*
JL MOR I G PRAYER. 605 To us belong shame and confusion of face, be* cause we have sinned against thee: but to the Lord our (lod belong mercies and forgiveness ; so that our deepest humiliation may be united with
prevailing hope and animating confidence. But while we rejoice in Christ Jesus, as " made unto " us Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and " Redemption;" may we expect the largest blessings from thy free bounty, fully convinced, that we merit nothing but thy wrath and indignation. Oh grant, we beseech thee, that our consciousness of guilt may endear to us the love of Christ, and may teach us forbearance and compassion to the vilest and most injurious of our fellow sinners. Enable us in this manner to exercise patience and contentment; form our hearts to teachableness, and simplicity of dependence on thy promises; and teach us readily to sit down in the lowest place, and in honour to prefer others to ourselves, O gracious Saviour, we beseech thee to establish thy kingdom, and sway thy sceptre in our hearts, and reign Lord of all our affections: baptize us with thy sanctifying Spirit : ' cleanse away every pollution : consume the dross of our grovelling desires and imaginations: and transform us into thine own holy image. Teach us more fervently to love thy holy name; and inspire us with pure and ardent zeal for thy glory. Communicate to us heavenly wisdom, and give us a lively relish
t)06 A MOR I G PRAYER. for spiritual pleasures. Grant, we pray thee, that we may be able to distinguish things which differ, and to approve such as are most excellent. Help us to walk in wisdom towards them that are without; and to understand and practise our several duties towards all with whom we are connected, and among whom we live. Teach us, how we may escape the snares, and resist the temptations
of Satan : strengthen us with all might by thy Spirit in the inward man, that we may overcome the world, avoid its pollutions, renounce its friendship, and refuse conformity to all its sinful customs. Enable us to keep under the body and bring it into subjection ; that so we may not use even lawful things in an inexpedient and injurious manner : and help us, in every respect, to fight the good fight of faith, and to lay hold on eternal life. We commend to thy care and blessing, O gracious Lord, all who are dear unto us. Teach us, we beseech thee, with persevering zeal, to vise all proper means of doing them good, and of winning upon such as still neglect thy great salvation. Bless thy whole church. Endue thy ministers with wisdom, clothe them with righteousness, and make them valiant and zealous for thy truth. Enable thy people to rejoice in thee: let thy grace be sufficient for them in all their trials and temptations; give them victory in every conflict; and prosper all their endeavours to glorify thy name, and do good to mankind. Send forth thy light
A MOR I G PRAYER. 607 and truth to the nations: dispel the dark clouds of idolatry, impiety, superstition, and infidelity ; and set up thy kingdom of peace and righteousness throughout the earth. Continue, we humbly beseech thee, to bless our land with peace and liberty, and the light of thy gospel ; and may effectual measures be taken to stop the progress of wickedness and ungodliness ; that so iniquity may not be our ruin. Enrich our king, and all connected with him, or placed in authority under him, with thy choicest mercies : and do thou so direct the publick councils, that such wise and salutary mea-
sures may be adopted, as thou wilt bless to the preservation of domestick harmony; the restoration an.d establishment of peace among the nations ; the reformation of our manners, the revival of true religion, and the success of thy gospel in other parts of the world. Visit with thy tender compassion and saving grace all the sons and daughters of affliction. While thy judgments are abroad in the earth, may the inhabitants learn righteousness : and do thou, O God, be pleased to frustrate the designs of all those, who are enemies to peace and true religion. Be graciously present with us, O merciful Father, in the various employments and occurrences of the day ; may we serve thee in the discharge of every duty, from pure evangelical motives, and with uprightness and fidelity. Leave us not, we intreat thee, to grieve thy Spirit, to wouaid our
608 A PRAYER^FOR SATURDAY EVE I G. own consciences, to dishonour our profession, or to unfit ourselves for presenting our evening sacrifice of solemn worship. But grant,, that " whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do ; we " may do all to the^glory of thy great name." We beseech thee, O heavenly Tather, to accept with mercy these our supplications; and to do for us exceeding abundantly above all, we can ask or think, through Jesus Christ, our great High Priest and Advocate. To whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be honour and glory, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
A Family Prayer on a Saturday Evening. THOU eternal God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being; enable us we beseech thee to close this week in that manner, which shall be most profitable to ourselves, and most honourable to thy name. We have no occasion, O most righteous and holy God, to review the years which are past, in order to find cause of humiliation in thy sight : every day and every week suggests abundant matter for painful reflections, and adds to our conviction, that " we are all as ,an unclean thing, and
A PRAYER FOR SATURDAY EVE I G. 60$ " and all our righteousnesses as filthy rags." O Lord, if thou shouldest mark iniquity, who could stand ? Enable us, therefore, to confess our sins with ingenuous and unreserved sorrow and shame; to own that they are more in number than the hairs of our head, and a sore burden too heavy for us to bear and to present ourselves, in deep contrition at thy throne of grace, in humble faith and reverent boldness, through our great and compassionate High Priest, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Do thou apply the atoning blood to our consciences this evening, to purge away the guilt of the past week; that we may go to rest in peace, and not carry the guilt of any unrepented, unpardoned sin, into the ensuing week, to mar our comfort, or blast our endeavours to glorify thy name. O thou Author and Finisher of faith, help us against all the incursions of unbelief: leave us not to a dead faith and presumptuous hope ; and let us not be discouraged by needless fears and scruples. Grant us peace
and joy in believing ; and let the love of God ? shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, warrant that our hope shall never cause us to be ashamed. While we would thus seek forgiveness of all that is past, through the blood of sprinkling; enable us also to return thee our unfeigned thanks for the mercies of the past week, and of our whole lives. Blessed be thy name, O Lord our God, for the
610 A PRAYER FOR SATURDAY EVE I G. continuance of life ; the preservation, [or recovery] of health ; exemption, [or relief,] from pain ; the use of our limbs, senses, and faculties ; the plentiful supply of our wants; the kindness of our friends, and the restraints put upon our enemies and upon wicked men ; for our domestick comforts ; and our privileges in this land, still favoured with liberty, peace, and the light of heavenly truth. Oh that we were more disposed to bless thee for thy goodness, and for thy wonderful works towards the children of men ! We thank thee, for our abundant opportunities of religious improvement ; for every degree of inclination to attend on them ; and for all the benefit we have thus received. We ascribe it to thy special grace, that we have ever attended to thy gospel ; and that we have been kept from turning back into the world, or from being entangled in any destructive or injurious delusion : nay, that we are not at this moment sitting in the seat of the scornful, or walking in the paths of vice and impiety. Another week hath now been added to the season of thy long-suffering, and to our season of preparation for eternity! through another week we have obtained help of God, and been in some measure enabled to cleave
to thee ! Accept our cordial thanks and praises for all thine unnumbered mercies, and grant that our future lives may evince our sincerity. Whatever any of us, O gracious Father, have attempted in thy service during the past week, do
A PRAYER FOR SATURDAY EVE I G. 6ll thou render effectual by thy blessing. If [by conversation, or letters, or] in any way we have endeavoured to be useful to our brethren, or our fellow-sinners ; give, we beseech thee, the desired success. Though the seed sown may have been " as bread cast upon the waters;" let it not perish, but t be found after many days." And prosper the labours of those, who with greater zeal and ability, or more favourable opportunities, have sown the good seed of divine truth in any part of the world. If, O Lord, we have presented any believing and fervent prayers before thy throne of grace; either in the closet, the family, or in publick worship; for ourselves, our beloved relatives and friends, and our Christian brethren dispersed abroad in the world ; for our country, our rulers or teachers, and the different orders and ranks of men in the community ; for the distressed in mind, body, or estate ; for the oppressed and enslaved ; for the peace of the world, the success of the gospel, and the establishment of thy kingdom : do thou graciously remember and answer all these our supplications; pardon the sinfulness cleaving to them, and far exceed them all, for the sake and honour of thy beloved Son. Bless to us, we beseech thee, the means of grace
we have this week enjoyed : and grant that, through thine assistance, we may remember and be edified by all we have read er heard from thy
612 A PRAYER FOR SATURDAY EVE I G. holy worcL Sanctify also to us the dispensations of thy providence : teach us to profit by all thy chastisements; and to learn gratitude and confidence in thee, by all thy mercies : and may even the experience we have of our own weakness and folly, excite us to more fervent prayers for wisdom, strength, and grace, according to thy precious promises. And now, O merciful God, we beseech thee, to prepare our hearts for the approaching day of sacred rest: and teach us so to arrange all our temporal concerns, that our thoughts may not be occupied, our attention distracted, nor our minds ruffled by them, when we would wait on thee in thy holy services. Let us not deem thy sabbaths a weariness ; but our delight, our privilege, and great advantage. May the care of our own souls, and of the souls of those who belong to us, sweetly occupy the hours of the day. By self-examination, and meditation on thy word, may we obtain increasing acquaintance with ourselves, our spiritual estate, the progress we have made, or the loss we have sustained, in this important concern. Enable us, we beseech thee, to humble ourselves before thee in true repentance, and cordially to renew our acceptance of thy salvation : and, while we wait on thee, may our strength be repaired ; may every grace be brought into vigorous exercise; and our knowledge of thy truth and will in all respects enlarged. Assist us in thy publick worship,
A PRAYER FOR SATURDAY EVE I G. 6l3 and favour us with thy special presence and blessing. May thy people, with whom we worship, be refreshed, comforted, and sanctified in thy courts ; and grant thy special assistance and blessing to thy ministers, in their work and labour of love. Oh, that increasing numbers may be added to thy churches, of such as shall be saved ; and many able and faithful labourers sent forth into the harvest ; and may the Sun of righteousness diffuse his healing influence, wherever the sun in the firmament enlightens the nations with his beams. Hear us, O merciful Father, in these our supplications ; take us under thy protection this night ; fit us, both in body and soul, for the duties of the ensuing day, and by them prepare us for thy eternal sabbath, for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, One God in three Persons, even the God of our salvation, be glory and honour from all creatures, now and for evermore. Amen.
A Family Prayer for the Lord's Day Morning.
THOU God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of all that truly believe in him ; we meet together this morning to thank and bless thee, for sparing us to see another day of sacred rest ; and to implore thy gracious aid in keeping it holy to thy name. Alas, how many sabbaths have some of us wasted in vanity and folly, in, sloth or worldly concerns, in frivolous company, amusement, or animal indulgence ! And since we have
known something of thy salvation, how very imperfectly have we obeyed thy command, of sanctifying thy holy day ! If thou shouldest enter into judgment with us according to our deserts, our transgressions in this single point would leave us speechless under thy awful sentence of condemnation. But though we have thus been ungrateful and perverse; though we have robbed thee of thy hallowed time, and of the glory due to thy name; yet, we beseech thee, magnify thy mercy in pardoning our sins, and in giving us thy grace, that we may henceforth walk in newness of life. We bless thy name, O Lord our God, that thou hast appointed this season of rest from our worldly pursuits ; and made this provision for our spiritual advantage: and we thank thee, if our hearts are in
A PRAYER FOR LORD'S DAY MOR I G. 6l5 any degree inclined to avail ourselves of so invaluable a benefit. Help us, we beseech thee, to remember thee as our Creator, who, having in six clays made this world, and man to inhabit it, didst pronounce the whole very good; and didst rest on the seventh day, with full satisfaction and ineffable delight, in this display of thine eternal power and Godhead : and didst command man to keep it holy; to contemplate thy glories, to celebrate thy praises, and to rejoice in thy goodness. ' But alas, how soon did sin mar thy good work, and derange this happy plan ! And how can transgressors rejoice in a holy God, whose wrath they have incurred, and from whom their hearts are alienated ? Blessed be thy name, O Lord, for the revelation of thy mercy in Christ Jesus, " the " Lamb slain from the foundation of the world 1" ow sinners may approach and rejoice in God
their Creator, as their reconciled Father and Friend ! We would therefore adore the displays of thy glory in the works thou hast made, and in the course of thy bounteous providence. All thou doest is worthy to be had in honour; and our obligations to thee as our Creator and Benefactor can never be sufficiently acknowledged. But when we contemplate the stupendous plan of redemption, and view the incarnate Son of God dying for our sins, and rising again for our justification; we feel that this is, to us sinners, the most interesting and endearing of all the discoveries thou Ss 2
A GRAYER OR LORD'S DAY MOR I G. liast made of thyself; as well as the fullest display of the harmonious glories of thy character, in the view of thy whole intelligent creation. Oh, enable us, we pray thee, by the teaching of thy Holy Spirit, so to meditate on these subjects, especially on this season of sacred rest ; that our hearts may be humbled in repentance, inspired with confidence, filled with admiring love and animating gratitude, and prepared for rendering thee our tribute of praise and thanksgiving. But, O Lord, the subject is too vast for us ! Thy love passeth knowledge ! We cannot worthily praise thy glorious perfections. Yet we beseech thee, in thy infinite condescension and fatherly compassion, to accept our feeble eiforts, and to help us to love thee more, and praise thee better. Grant, we beseech thee, that we may hallow this thy sacred day with reverence, devotion and alacrity. Exclude from our thoughts and heartsall worldly cares; and let no circumstance arise,
or person intrude, to interrupt us in its important and delightful duties. May all the hours, which can be spared from matters of real necessity, be spent in works of piety and charity ; may a spiritual mind render them pleasant to us ; and may our converse and social intercourse be seasoned with piety, and promote mutual edification. Vouchsafe us thy special blessing in studying thy word, reviewing our past lives, calling to mind thy - mercies, examining the state of our souls, and
A PRAYER FOR LORD'S DAY MOR I G. 6l? pouring out our hearts before thee. May we count a day spent in thy courts better than a thousand ; and be glad when it is said to us, let us go unto the house of the Lord. Leave us not to admit of any vain excuse, for not attending on thine ordinances ; but grant that we may ever feel more disappointment when confined from thy worship, than when prevented from an expected interview with our dearest friends. We would go, with the desire of our souls, to meet thee according to thy promise: and we beseech thee, enable us by faith to realize thy glorious and gracious presence, and solemnize $nd encourage our hearts ; Oh grant us the assistance of thy Holy Spirit in every part of the sacred service: raise us above that dulness and languor which so often oppress us ; and preserve us frony the intrusion of vain and wandering thoughts, May our confession, of sin, our prayers and supplications, our praises and thansgivings, be the language of our inmost soul, and an acceptable sacrifice through Christ our Lord, Prepare our hearts, O merciful Father, as good ground to receive the good seed of divine truth: and may thy word, read and preached, be heard
by us in humble teachableness, mixed with faith a and applied to our own cases and consciences. Oh deliver us from all our prejudices ; remove every veil which closes our understandings, and every bias that warps our judgment. Instruct us ignorant, rectify our mistakes, convincQ
618 A PRAYED FOR LORD'S DAY MOR I G, us of our sins, confirm our faith, encourage our hopes, enliven our affections: and thus fit us for serving thee, with wisdom and zeal, in the several stations in which we are placed. * [And when some of us shall meet at thy table, give us thy special help; that in deep repentance, lively faith, and fervent love, we may remember our dear Redeemer's sufferings and death, renew our acceptance of his salvation, render our tribute of grateful praise, and yield ourselves up to thy service, as " bought with a price to glorify thee with our " bodies and spirits, which are thine." Thus may we ' feed on Christ in our hearts by faith with ' thanksgiving ;' and be strengthened for every future service and conflict, by this " Bread of life "which came down from heaven."] Bless, we beseech thee, O gracious Lord, those who shall assemble with us in thy courts ; [and those who meet with us at thy table ;] vouchsafe to thy believing people all those good things, which we have asked, or should ask for ourselves. Compassionate those, who have hitherto been formal worshippers, and strangers to thy saving grace. Awaken the careless, undeceive the deluded, guide the enquirer, comfort the broken-hearted, confirm the wavering, and excitfc to diligence such as have been lukewarm and slothful. Assist and prosper thy servants, who labour among us in the
word and doctrine. Give them wisdom, zeal, 1 On the days when the Lord's Supper is administered.
A PRATER FOR LORD'S DAY MOR I G. 619 faithfulness, tenderness, and compassion. Help them rightly to divide the word of truth, and to speak such things as suit the various characters and cases of the congregation. Give them much comfort and sucess in their work ; and grant them many seals to their ministry, who may be their joy here, and their crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus. Remove every hindrance to their usefulness ; and bring forth many from all around, whom thou wilt make partakers of thy saving grace, and instruments of diffusing the light of thy truth, and of handing it down to future generations, that the children who are yet unborn may praise the Lord. Vouchsafe the same blessings to all faithful pastors and their congregations ; and grant that all who are called ministers of Christ ' may be illuminated with the knowledge of ' thy truth/ and both by their doctrine and example make it known, and recommend it to mankind. Send forth, O thou Lord of the harvest, more labourers thoroughly furnished for thy work. Enlighten the dark parts of the earth with thy saving grace. Remember, with special regard, such as are employed in distant regions and arduous circumstances, to make known thy gospel; comfort their hearts, prosper their endeavours, and raise them up many helpers. Purify thy church from scandals and heresies. Cause divisions among Christians to cease. " Multiply
S ft *
620 A PRAYER FOR LORD'S DAY EVE I G. " mercy, grace, and peace, to all that love the " Lord Jesus in sincerity;" and by the prevalence of thy gospel terminate wars all over the earth. Look in mercy on such as are confined from thy courts by sickness or family afflictions; and by thine immediate teaching and blessing, make up to them the want of publick ordinances. Pity the multitudes, who are every where profaning thy holy sabbath, and give them repentance unto salvation. Remember all with whom we have at any time " gone to the house of God in company;" and let our prayers, though now separated, be accepted for each other. Be with us through the day. May we be edified, and thy name be glorified; and may we meet in the evening, with peaceful consciences and thankful hearts. Hear us through the merits and mediation of thy beloved Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen,
A Family Prayer for the Lord's Day Evening.
THOU most holy and merciful God, we, thine unworthy servants, desire this evening to review, as in thy presence, the day past; humbling ourselves for our sinf illness, and thanking thee for all thy loving kindnesses.
A PRAYER FOR LORD'S DAY EVE I G. 621 When we endeavour to examine any part of our conduct, or to compare it with thy holy law: we never fail to discover abundant cause for humiliation. Alas, not only have our actual transgressions and omissions been innumerable and aggravated: but each of us has cause to exclaim, when contemplating thy glories, " Woe is me for I am 61 undone, because I am one of unclean lips, and " mine eyes have seen the King the Lord of Hosts!" O God ! Our very worship is so defiled and defective; that, instead of atoning for our past sins, or recommending u $ to thy favour, it needs thy gracious forgiveness, and must be washed in the blood of Christ. Pardon then, we beseech thee this evening, whatever thy holy eyes have seen amiss in the duties of the day: the wanderings of our hearts, the coldness of our affections; our want of reverence, love, and gratitude; the weakness of our faith, the wavering of our hope; the mixture of self-seeking and regard to men, with which our religious services have been contaminated. And grant that all our supplications and thanksgivings, as far as they have been uprightly presented before thy throne of grace, under the influences of thy Holy Spirit, may be mercifully accepted, through the mediation of our heavenly Advocate. W r e desire also, O Lord our God, to crave thy fatherly forgiveness of every thought, word, and action, by which wfc jaave grieved thy Spirit, dishonoured thy name, 04:
A PRAYER FOR LORD'S DAY EVE I G. counteracted the gracious designs of this thy holy day. Wash us thoroughly from all our sins, in the fountain of atoning hlood ; and vouchsafe us the
comfort of thy pardoning love, and the enjoyment of thy peace, before we close our eyes in sleep. Suffer not, O merciful Lord, the ordinances of this sacred season to rise up at last in judgment against us, to our confusion or condemnation: let not thy word of grace be a savour of death to any individual now before thee. But, O thou Giver of every good gift, teach us to improve our advantages; and render the transient seasons of public ordinances a permanent blessing to our souls. Let us not rest satisfied, with having been serious, impressed, affected, or comforted, when hearing thy word; or with conscious sincerity in our worship [or in our engagements at thy table] : but let us so meditate upon these things with self-application and fervent prayer ; that our judgment may be matured, our spiritual wisdom and discernment increased, our faith and hope established, our affections purified and invigorated, and our wills, rendered more submissive, by every attendance on the means of grace. Thus enable us to " give the " more earnest heed to the things we have heard; " lest at any time we should let them slip." Suffer us not to be as " children tossed to and fro with <c with every wind of doctrine :" but make us such Christians, as " by reason of use .have their senses,
A PRAYER FOR LORD'S DAY EVE I G. 623 " exercised to discern good and evil." [And may we also remember that the vows of God are upon us : and in all the transactions of life duly consider, that we have avouched the Lord to be our God; and ourselves to be his people, as redeemed unto him by the blood of his Son.] May we carry the instructions of thy word, and the savour of
thy holy ordinances, along with us, into all the secular affairs of the ensuing week; to teach us wisdom and circumspection, to arm us against temptation, to be the light of our steps, and the strength of our heart. Oh grant, that as the face of Moses shone, when he came down from the mount : so when we go from communion with thee, in thy solemn worship ; our light may shine before men, to the glory of thy name, and the adorning of the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. Prosper, we beseech thee, the labours of all those who have any where, this day, preached the word of truth in simplicity and godly sincerity. May thy people be edified in their most holy faith,, and sinners in great numbers be converted unto thee. And, where serious impressions have been made, let them be rendered effectual unto eternal Salvation. Hear all the supplications, which have this day been presented before thee by thine assembled people; for themselves, their children, and relatives ; for thy whole church, for all ranks orders of men 3 and for the whole human race;
A PRAYER FOR LORD*S DAY EVE I G. according to their several wants, trials, or circumstances. May thy cause every where prevail ; may thy truth run and be glorified. Oh stop the progress of false doctrine, and lift up a standard against infidelity, impiety, and licentiousness: and let peace, and the gospel of peace, fill the whole earth. And now, O heavenly Father, we commend ourselves to thy keeping this night. Watch over us and our habitation. Give us the comforts of
refreshing sleep; and defend us against all enemies, especially those that would injure our souls. And grant, that by hallowing thy sabbath on earth, we may be rendered more and more "meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light," May all our clays and weeks be thus begun, continued, and ended with thee: and grant that all we, who now unite in prayer on earth, may at length meet before thy throne in heaven, to sing thy praises and triumph in thy love, through the righteousness, atonement, and intercession of our great High Priest, and to the honour of his name; who is, Avith thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, God over all, blessed for evermore. Amen.
1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books
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